Purpose: We report four cases of Brain Metastases (BM) from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) responding to ZD 1839 therapy after standard therapy failure. Patients and methods: Four patients with BM from NSCLC, pretreated with two or more lines of chemotherapy, received ZD 1839 (Iressa), on a compassionate use basis, at the daily dose of 250 mg until disease progression. Three patients received Iressa after whole brain radiotherapy (WBRT) failure. Results: After 3 months of ZD 1839 therapy, one patient had complete response on the brain with stabilization of extracranial disease, while the other three patients had partial response both on the brain and on extracranial sites. At the time of this analysis, two patients discontinued the treatment after 5 and 7 months for disease progression, while two patients are still on treatment with no evidence of treatment failure after 3+ and 12+ months. ZD 1839 was generally well tolerated, with skin toxicity recorded in two patients. Conclusion: ZD 1839 may be effective in NSCLC patients with pretreated BM. Large and prospective trials need to clarify the role of ZD 1839 in the treatment of BM from NSCLC. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
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